How to explain varna and ashrama

Manidhara Das
11 Oct 2018

The evident need to conduct our lives on basis of varna and ashrama based organization is often in name of transcendence ignored or even arrogantly dismissed. Without any scientific understanding some may DESIGNATE themselves and designate others to be transcendental to such an "institutionalized spiritualism", imitating some of our predictors who were babajis and avadhutas in a class on their own. But even these transcendental personalities never encouraged imitation. As Srila Prabhupada said, “Imitation is dangerous, following is good.”

And so, following the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, there is surely a need to be rightly situated and on that basis conduct one’s life. Transcending the bodily situation doesn’t mean to change the body, but to change ones consciousness in terms of thinking, feeling and desiring.

The general knowledge of not being the body but eternal part of the Supreme Lord is for everybody. The way how to realize this knowledge and apply it in one’s life requires more discrimination and scientific understanding of the particular conditioning of the particular soul. Indiscriminately introducing everybody to a level of Krsna consciousness brings about generations of arrogant supposedly educated kanistha adhikaris at best, or sahajiyas at worst.

To introduce the right knowledge to the wrong person may be grossly compared to filling the wrong car with the right fuel. Every car driver knows what the result of this foolishness may be. To fill diesel fuel into petrol driven car will… blow up the engine, rendering the car, however fancy painted and shaped it may be useless.

So destructive is the sentimental attempt to declare everybody being a vaisnava, operating on a level he is not, ignoring his or hers material conditioning and DESIGNATE oneself to be something one is not. A society of hypocrites is created in this way, the original knowledge, once misplaced, becomes dismissed by those who were critical to start with and finally the "preachers of falsehood" fall down severely themselves, simply confirming the already existing sarcastically and arrogant attitude of those who oppose any parampara based system of authority. Spiritual institutions become "lunatic asylums" where every member is a walking monument of hypocrisy.

In such an atmosphere spiritual life becomes a myth and the mayavada based doctrines flourish everywhere.

And so it is more as needed to disseminate knowledge with discrimination as what may be food for one is poison for another.